You might be the most diligent dieter, exercising rigorously and eating as much, as often and as advised. While this sounds promising one important parameter is not factored in, your mood. Unless you are feeling, confident, optimistic and powerful, any lifestyle change will have an expiration date.
Mood is one of the top reasons why diets fail. Without a robust self-image and assertiveness, your weight loss efforts are sabotaged by moments of weakness (devouring an entire pan of velvet cake in one sitting, anyone?).
The following list features foods that help improve your mood and by extension assist you in your weight loss efforts. How many are you already eating?
Much hype has been going around lycopene and its anti-oxidant activity. Tomatoes are a potent agent when it comes to fighting away depression as it prevents the growth of inflammation associated with the disease. What’s more, its magnesium and folate are necessary brain-foods as they help produce those neurotransmitters associated with mood, such as dopamine and serotonin.
Chocolate has been recently found to have a positive effect on mood. In a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, the researchers confirmed the mood-enhancing capacity of cocoa polyphenols. The participants receiving the dark chocolate drink reported calmness and feelings of content in contrast to those who took a placebo drink.
Don’t get chocolate wasted in milk or any other type of commercial chocolate, opt for quality dark chocolate that contains big amounts of cacao— anything with a cacao percentage over 70% is considered OK.
A recent study found that people who consumed about 30gr of mixed nuts, including hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts had increased serotonin levels. Walnuts seem to be a great snack option as apart from improving serotonin levels, they also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids essential for a robust nervous system.
This is what we should be calling the Happy Meal. Eggs are just about the right brain food, it’s rich in vitamin B12, vitamin D and folate all of which are essential for an adequately nourished nervous system.
What’s more eggs are high in tryptophan, an amino acid which contributes in the formation of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters; melatonin and serotonin.
Green Tea brims with the antioxidants and the nerve-calming amino acid, theanine. Research has shown that theanine has an indubitable anti-stress effect that helps against depression and mood slumps.
Just like walnuts, salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. DHA and EPA are two types of fatty acids that when people are depleted of them, they’re more likely to experience mood swings and irritability among other mood-affecting emotional states. This study conducted by the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the University of Pisa Medical School, showed that omega-3 fatty acids help improve your mood and might be even used in medical contexts for treating depression.
DIY comfort food
Science aside, sometimes all you need to keep going on with your weight loss or maintenance is the familiarity and up-lifting power of comfort food.
To make sure you rip its benefits without wrecking your diet, prepare your own home-baked dessert or treat. Home-baked cakes and pies are flavorful as they provide an all-five-senses experience, instantly improving your mood.
Take Away: Ultimately, weight loss is not about depriving yourself of favorite foods or physically exhausting yourself with exercise. It’s about finding the perfect balance between enjoyment and effort. It’s about controlling your eating and pushing yourself to be physically active, while at the same time ensuring you take good care of yourself and mood.
Your mood is a catalyst when it comes to successfully losing weight. The above-mentioned foods will help you calm your nerves or anxiety and naturally boost your mood, giving you the much-needed momentum and inspiration to keep up with your weight loss efforts.
Stanley Burnett is a fitness and nutrition expert that enjoys a healthy lifestyle and in a spare time shares his take on various weight loss supplements at www.slimmingpillsinfo.co.uk website.
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